Sara Tompson (MS '87) has been named a 2017 Special Libraries Association (SLA) Fellow. Fellowship in SLA is granted annually to no more than five mid-career SLA members for their service to the association and the information profession. Fellows advise the association’s Board of Directors, prepare necessary documentation, and alert the membership to issues and trends warranting action.
Tompson has been a member of SLA since 1991, when she worked at what was then called the Hazardous Waste Research & Information Center, a state agency on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.
For the past four years, she has served as the section manager for library, archives, and records at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The laboratory, which is run by Caltech under a contract with NASA, explores the solar system with robotic spacecraft and telescopes.
"I'm especially thrilled when I see Mars in the sky and know that we have two active Rovers on that planet, Opportunity and Curiosity," Tompson said.
In her free time, Tompson, an instrument-rated private pilot, likes to fly around southern California with her husband and friends.
Her advice to current students is to "learn as much as you can, take a range of courses, and stay flexible—be willing and able to work at any type of library."
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